Stories are what move us. Stories are more powerful than words alone. They are what we actually listen to and what we remember. They elicit emotion and trigger memories.
Music is a story. Music, like a good story, is powerful enough to live outside itself. Once the music stops, you can still feel it. It still moves you.
Music is my story. It still moves me. Music has infiltrated every aspect of my life, from my thoughts to my relationships, from my education to my aspirations. It is all music.
I am a musician. And as a musician, I am also a listener. I always hear music, I always feel music. I grew up with music and am grateful for the support. I began using instruments, digital and acoustic, to play what I heard. Improvisation led to jazz the saxophone. There were others better than me - as there always are. I stuck with it and found a way to sound different.
I am a composer. Ever since I played around with computer notation in middle school, I became fascinated with transcribing the music I heard in my head. Improvisation was real-time creation, but composition let me keep my thoughts forever. In high school I decided my senior project would be to compose and perform a suite for a saxophone quartet and a rhythm section. I college I decided my senior project would be to compose and record an entire album (Apsis). I always have musical ideas in my head, but tend to get analysis paralysis when it comes to deciding what to start on next.
I am a gamer. I really enjoy games. I found that pairing video games and composition was a fun way to explore new outlets for my creativity. Although I didn't know it when I applied, Drexel University turned out to be the perfect place to cultivate this passion. They had a course specifically on composing for video games, and another course where you actually write music and sound effects for a student-developed game!
I am an improver. In college I started the Drexel Improv Ensemble with the help of Dr. Myron Moss (may he rest in peace). I owe a lot to that man. He challenged and expanded my understanding of music and creativity. Nothing was written down, most of the time we didn't even plan what key we were playing in. The freedom was difficult, but it allowed me room to explore. I began composing pieces for a completely improvised setting. I thought of our ensemble as creating "spontaneous compositions," simultaneously creating, listening, and responding. We were improvisers, but we were also constantly learning and improving. After Drexel this ensemble became Space Whale Orchestra with myself and Connor Przybyszewski.
Music is dance is art. Before Dr. Moss passed away, our ensemble had the opportunity to perform with improv dancers. The experience was transformative. Music creates movement and movement creates music. I have had similar experiences improvising to pieces of art. 3rd Street Gallery has been one of Space Whale Orchestra's favorite places to collaborate with local artists.
Back to basics. As much as I don't like admitting it, improvisation isn't everything. I am almost equally obsessed with learning and business. I listen to podcasts and read books every day to always improve. But the funny thing about this process is that I still know that I will work with music somehow. This website is my first step at bringing together music and business and to really apply all of the knowledge I have acquired. I still enjoy improvising, but I want to re-explore the world of composition and venture into the world of teaching lessons - both staples of the poor musician's life.
A final word (or twelve). I am excited to share my music, knowledge, and insights with you.
“Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is THE BEST.”
― Frank Zappa